Desmond Doss stands at the top of a cliff as enemy shells explode around him. The rest of his company runs for cover, but Doss stays put, determined to save the wounded. One by one, he hauls them down the hill to safety. It’s a brave gesture; one made even more courageous by a simple fact – Doss has refused to fire a single bullet in his defense.
Doss was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on February 7, 1919. The son of a carpenter and a housewife, he was brought up as a strict Seventh-day Adventist. This, essentially, meant that a non-violent lifestyle and a vegetarian diet were important parts of his life.
However, when the Great Depression of the 1930s hit his family hard, Doss left school and sought employment in order to give them financial support. Initially, he found work with a local lumber company, and he later held a position in a shipyard as a joiner.